The Houses October Built
As the awesomeness that was the Telluride Horror Show concluded, Sickle and I had a chance to watch some movies before heading back to our hellish lives. We saw a lot of photos of films that had shown at the previous year's horror show and one movie in particular tickles our disturbed fancy. The Houses October Built, a movie about a group of people looking for the scariest haunted house in the US, was that film.
Personally, haunted houses scare the red off of me. If anyone was going to murder a person (or demon if such an opportunity presented it self), a haunted house is the place to most likely get away with it. Thusly the movie held a special place for horror in my heart. For individuals in the same boat as me, this movie holds a special, terrible place in our hearts as it was incredibly terrifying.
Littered with creepy environments, terrifying costumes, and insane people, this film is filled with creepy and shocking scenes. Throughout the film there are documentary style shots, interviews proprietors, employees, and horror junkies themselves. In my opinion, these scenes help to build upon the primal fears surrounding haunted houses, but I won't spoil that here. Suffice it to say the movie is well paced and despite a bit of cheesy acting it delivered on terror.
During the film Sickle and I discussed the films main downfall, cinematography. It seems horror is not only the solitary genre that uses found footage as an archetype, but it seems to be using it more than a lot of other film styles. This may be the reason for the strong arthouse influences we have been seeing in films like They Look Like People and It Follows as they try to return to films with substance and production quality. The found footage style of this film was kinda of annoying as lots of shots are of the floor and sides of walls. In this demon's opinion, the only found footage films worth their spit are the VHS movies, but that's not what I am here to discuss. As much as I am not impressed with most arthouse style films, I am glad they are movies away from the over use of found footage.
I would venture to say this is one of the best Halloween films I have ever seen. For the holiday it is a perfect fit! If you wanna be scared, are predisposed to disliking haunted houses, or human insanity tends to freak you out, I would say this film is required viewing.
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 8/10
Film Quality: 5/10